YOUR SWAT SHEET
Science is under attack in the post truth era, we need to rally behind her.
Join the resistance. ARM YOURSELF
A scientist has an idea, asks a question, and does some research to investigate further. With that gathered knowledge the scientist makes a hypothesis. The next step is an experiment or a series of experiments. Once the experiments have been successfully carried out, the scientist can draw conclusions from the data. Whether the data supports the hypothesis or not, the scientist will communicate the results. THE CORE of scientific method is attack from the scientist’s peers. Not malicious or mean spirited, just scientists being scientists, doing science. Suitably qualified scientists from the same field will dismantle the scientist’s published work and attack from all directions with their own ideas and experiments. IN SIMPLE TERMS Scientists don’t trust other scientists, so we can trust the science.
Don’t trust MARKETING though. Poor or weak science is often held up to validate marketing claims. If the company is powerful enough ($), they simply ignore the fact that their claims are refuted by scientific consensus. This must be horribly frustrating for the scientific community involved, and it is very confusing for the public. How is it legal? I can’t help you there.
This term has nothing to do with opinions. It means that the vast majority of suitably qualified scientists of any particular field have analysed the available data and armed with that understanding, have arrived at the same position. An opinion is meaningless against scientific consensus. "Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'" Isaac Asimov.
The word 'theory' is grossly misused by the anti science movement. It is unfortunate that we have two meanings for one word. The confusion is used either wilfully or ignorantly to mislead. We know evolution, gravity and human accelerated global warming all to be true, but they remain theories within scientific academia. All have been shown to be true by repeated modelling, experimentation and testing. Look at Einstein’s theories. Although abstract to those outside of physics, they have been tested and retested, with increasingly accurate technology over 100 years. Not one of his many theories has been debunked in 100 years of trying, and imagine how hard everyone is trying. Science super stardom awaits the debunker. As the great man once said. “No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.” That Einstein quote best defines the scientific term ‘theory’.
SCIENTIFIC BODY OF KNOWLEDGE
Science is happy to be proven wrong because it means we have learnt something new. When someone uses the term ‘the current science’, they refer to the umbrella phrase, ‘the body of human knowledge today’. Some of it will be disproven tomorrow. Science is pure and ongoing learning. “Science knows it doesn’t know everything, otherwise it would stop.” Dara O’Brien. We will never stop learning.
A WAY OF THINKING - A WAY OF LEARNING
“Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge,” Carl Sagan. This is immensely important in the battle against anti-science sentiments. Science is the never-ending search for evidence based knowledge.